Ever since the Galaxy Note 7 recall, sparked by widespread battery failure (which frequently led to property damage and occasionally injury), there has been a great deal of speculation about how this issue will affect Samsung’s brand image and future sales of its flagship Galaxy smartphone line.

Qriously, a global mobile survey platform, has conducted the first major consumer survey in the top 5 smartphone markets (USA, UK, Brazil, India and China) to find out.

More than 1 in 2 smartphone users in these top 5 markets have heard of the recall

The awareness is higher in the US and the UK (roughly 2/3rds) and lower in Brazil (52%) and India (45%).

TV was the most popular channel to hear the news, except in Brazil and China where the news spread more quickly online.

Smartphone users are most likely to remember that Galaxy Note 7s caught fire

The number 1 fact recalled about the Galaxy Note 7 crisis is that the phones caught fire – not surprisingly, that headline caught more attention than similar facts about the recall (e.g. that the recall was the second in two months, or that production of Note 7s has stopped).

Overall, 34% of smartphone users were aware that Galaxy Note 7s had caught fire.

Consumers in the US and the UK were most well-informed, with over half of smartphone users in each country able to list at least one relevant fact about the crisis. Consumers in India and Brazil were the least-informed about the crisis.

The Galaxy Note 7 recall doesn’t seem to have affected Samsung’s overall image that much

Smartphone users who have heard about the recall roughly have the same image of Samsung than those who haven’t heard; however, a slightly higher proportion say they have a “very negative image” (11.2% vs 8.7%).

The NPS Score (Net Promoter Score) is also the same, regardless of whether they have heard of the Note 7 crisis or not.

But it definitely had some kind of a negative impact

About 4 in 10 smartphone users who had heard of the recall say the have a lower opinion of Samsung after the recall with 17% having a “much lower opinion”. China and – to a lesser extent the US – are where consumers’ confidence has been most shaken.

A majority of recall-aware smartphone users are now concerned with the safety of Samsung’s mobile devices, especially in the US and Brazil

Overall, half of smartphone users who had heard of the recall in these 5 markets are somewhat to very concerned with the safety of Samsung’s mobile devices. USA and Brazil show the highest levels of concern about Samsung’s mobile device safety (almost 1 in 3 are “very concerned” vs 22% on average).

Safety concerns extend to other product lines

What’s particularly worrying is that smartphone users are also pretty concerned with the safety of other Samsung products (Home Electronics / Home Appliances / TVs..). 41% of smartphone users who had heard of the recall indicated that they were somewhat to very concerned with the safety of other Samsung products.

Samsung seems to be doing a good job handling the crisis

Overall a majority (54%) of smartphone users who have heard of the recall think Samsung does a good job handling the crisis but 29% think they’re not doing so well.

This varies depending on the market: despite being the most concerned for the safety of Samsung products, Brazilians are more positive about how Samsung is handling the crisis. Indians were also particularly positive about Samsung’s handling of the crisis. China was by far the least positive, with a majority saying that Samsung is not handling the crisis well.

Samsung consideration is likely to drop next time consumers upgrade their phone

Overall, almost a third of all smartphone users said that they would be less likely to consider Samsung.
This sentiment is especially pronounced in China, where 44% of smartphone users said they would be less likely to consider Samsung. (China also has the lowest proportion of Samsung users currently due to strong Android competition from Xiaomi and Vivo).

Perhaps most damning for Samsung, 6% of current Samsung smartphone owners would no longer consider buying a Samsung phone for their next upgrade.

Methodology
Qriously interviewed 6,760 smartphone users 13+ in the global top 5 smartphone markets (USA, UK, China, India, Brazil) from 25th October to 27th October.
Data was weighted on gender, age and region in all countries to match census data. (Data was also weighted on ethnicity in the USA.)

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